December 23, 2019 · 6:06 pm
Mayor Bowser’s Capitol Hill Walk – Wednesday, December 18, Photos and Notes
by Larry Janezich
Mayor Bower’s walk on Capitol Hill last Wednesday started with a press conference in freezing temperatures at 3:30pm in front of the Rumsey Aquatic Center behind Eastern Market. It didn’t amount to much: Assistant Chief Dickerson gave a short overview on public safety, citing the fact that the majority of property crimes committed on Capitol Hill have to do with thefts from autos and offering the usual advice about locking cars and not leaving valuables inside. Bowser asked if there were any questions. There were none. The three television crews in attendance looked like they were happy to get moving.
There was an entourage of 40 or 50 people. We walked to Seward Square where a resident engaged the Mayor and expressed concern about the homeless who populate the park. Another resident expressed reservations about the 5G infrastructure, fearing installation of equipment too close to residences. The Mayor walked down C Street and ANC6B Chair Chander Jayaraman explained his idea to increase public parking for Eastern Market by expanding the current parking lot at the expense of property owned by the Aquatic Center.
Organizers then took the Mayor through Eastern Market, where she greeted merchants by name, including Jose Caneles of Caneles’ Deli.
The walk continued down C Street, and right on 8th Street to the bus stop at 8th and Pennsylvania, where ANC6B Commissioner Steve Holtzman (center) and Barracks Row MainStreet Executive Director Martin Smith (right), told the Mayor about residents’ concerns about DDOT’s proposed reversal of the flow of traffic on D Street, and the elimination of the “slip lane” which currently provides an easy way to get onto Pennsylvania Avenue going west.
The Mayor continued down Pennsylvania Avenue, surveyed the new temporary playground in Parcel 1 of the Metro Plaza, then crossed the Avenue to walk down the alley next to Distad’s, where ANC6B Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg (in blue cap) pointed out an ongoing rodent issue associated with the dumpsters for Dunkin’ Donuts.
Then south on the 400 block of 8th Street to the corner where the Subway sandwich shop is located. The Mayor interacted with an activist on that corner advocating for “Save the Children.”
The group crossed 8th Street to the 7-11 and walked north, where ANC6B Commissioner Brian Ready (on Bowser’s right) and Barracks Row MainStreet’s Martin Smith (right front) told the Mayor of their efforts to address quality of life and drug use issues on the troubled block. The Mayor’s final stop was at Tyler Elementary School, where parents are concerned about pick-up and drop-off of their children.
One response to “Mayor Bowser’s Capitol Hill Walk – Photos and Notes”
It’s not entirely fair to judge an elected official on a walk-through clearly intended more for photos than actions, but given where we’re at, this is pretty incredible. Did anyone ask the mayor about efforts to literally wall off open areas on PA Ave. so homeless people have fewer places to sleep? Or the fact that all the places where she walked had more retail 20 years ago than now? Or why we have so many empty storefronts along 8th street? Or why the pool has been closed so often for repairs?